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Lymphocyte subpopulations in thymus and blood from patients with myasthenia gravis.
  1. J A Aarli,
  2. P Heimann,
  3. R Matre,
  4. S Thunold,
  5. O Tönder


    Cell suspensions were prepared from hyperplastic thymic tissue and lymphoepithelioma from patients with myasthenia gravis and from presumed normal thymic tissue obtained at cardiac surgery. The mononuclear cells were examined for surface markers. The mean percentages of both T lymphocytes and Fc receptor-carrying lymphocytes were similar in the three groups, whereas there was an increase in C receptor-carrying lymphocytes in the samples from myasthenic patients. Sections from the thymus gland were examined for T and B markers. In the hyperplastic thymus and in lymphoepithelioma, the T lymphocytes were distributed diffusely throughout the cortex and the medulla; in the normal thymus they were predominant in the cortex. The mean percentage of T and B lymphocytes in peripheral blood from patients with myasthenia gravis was normal. Thymectomy involved a transitory decrease in T lymphocytes with a corresponding increase in B lymphocytes.

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